Too many cookbooks and a chocolate mousse
My cookbook habit has lately spiralled out of control. I´m unrestrained enough as it is when it comes to normal books, but with those at least there´s a reason. You read them from cover to cover, and that´s it. You don´t say "Here´s Kavalier and Klay, marvelous novel, try page 457, you´ll love it".
But how can you ever finish a cookbook? I firmly beleive that with four or five you could cook until the end of your days, but I have more than seventy. And still, I crave the smell of fresh ink every now and then. Preferably now.
I just love them. They´re ideal dip-into literature, relaxing and exciting at the same time, absorbing but allowing one to drift off in a reverie. The chattier sort, like Nigella´s, or the ones full of fascinating snippets of history and customs, like Claudia Roden´s, I actually read like novels. And even though they pile up all over my flat, I go on buying and ordering more, as if I didn´t have dozens of recipes for roast chicken already, because there´s always something you´ll end up using.
I often wonder, what makes a book worth your while? A high percentage of recipes you might use? Two or three you love? One that´s so good that you´ve actually memorized?
My copy of How to Eat is falling apart, and there are only two or three recipes that I´d never ever make from there. It was the first big cookbook I bought when I moved out of my parents´ house, and has shaped my whole kitchen outlook. Definitely wort it.
Then again, though I haven´t cooked a single recipe from it, Jake Tilson´s Twelve kitchens has altered my whole graphics-in-the-kitchen deportment - worth every penny.
When it comes to cooking, I don´t even have that much mentioned problem of having so many recipes to try out I only do each once. I´m actually pretty faithful to the tried and tested favourites, and if I love something once, it´s instantly enshrined as my official version. So that I mostly cook from my old books, somehow, which makes the habit more absurd. O well. It could be worse, I guess.
For another incurable addiction, here´s a recipe for chocolate mousse from the first cookbook I ever bought, aged fifteen; Chocolate, by Jill Norman.
I have never even tried any other. Why would I?, this is flawless. No butter, no oil, no sugar except the one in the chocolate make it dark and intense, just how I like it; worth the cover price, and more.
125 gr. darkest chocolate
4 eggs, sepparated
Melt the chocolate . I like to give it a minute in a medium microwave, and when some is melted and some is not, stir it so the rest melts. That way it´s cool quickly, and we go to step two, mix it with the yolks.
Now beat the whites til stiff ( I add a pinch of non-regulation sugar here, it makes them set better).
Fold into the chocolate carefully, without knocking air out. Pour into glasses or ramekins and chill for 12 hours.